"CSSS is a rare opportunity to broaden both your scientific and social horizons. At SFI, I embarked on multiple research projects that are well outside my comfort zone. More importantly however, I had countless unforgettable experiences and forged lifelong friendships.” - Ellsworth Campbell, CSSS 2014

Program Overview

The Complex Systems Summer School offers an intensive four week introduction to complex behavior in mathematical, physical, living, and social systems for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professionals in the sciences and social sciences. The school is for participants who seek background and hands-on experience to help them prepare to conduct interdisciplinary research in areas related to complex systems. 

The program consists of an intensive series of lectures, laboratories, and discussion sessions focusing on foundational ideas, tools, and current topics in complex systems research. These include nonlinear dynamics and pattern formation, scaling theory, information theory and computation theory, adaptation and evolution, network structure and dynamics, adaptive computation techniques, computer modeling tools and specific applications of these core topics to various disciplines. In addition, participants will formulate and carry out team projects related to topics covered in the program. 

All activities will be conducted in English. Participants are expected to attend the entire session. Applicants are welcome from all countries. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.  Enrollment is limited.

"The Santa Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School (CSSS) is world class. Combining the latest thinking from world leading scientists, true multidisciplinary perspectives, and the passion from 50 or more of the best and brightest attendees is inspiring. With the diversity of people, country representation and perspectives, breakthrough research was established in a wide range of new areas. I commend the program to those that are not satisfied with the status quo, those that want to break new ground, and those who are the future leaders in their fields.” - Matthew Ayres, CSSS Cohort 2014; Managing Director, Growth and Innovation Asia Pacific.


Student and Academic Rate: Tuition for the program is not yet determined. It will be inclusive of participation, course materials, accommodations and meals. Students are responsible for their travel costs. For students seeking departmental funding to attend the school, supporting materials are available from SFI.

Corporate Rate: Tuition for the program is $5,000 and is inclusive of participation, course materials, accommodations and meals. Please contact education@santafe.edu for more information on how to attend as a corporate participant.


Housing is in single or double occupancy dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms and is available from June 11 arrival through July 7 departure. Participants who wish to arrive before or stay after these dates must arrange for other accommodations on their own.


Applications are accepted from graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professionals in any discipline. Some background in science and mathematics (including multi-variate calculus and linear algebra) is required. Proficiency in English is also required.

Application Requirements

In addition to completing an online application: 

- A current CV. Include a clear description of your current educational or professional status, and a list of publications, if any.

- A statement of your current research interests and comments about why you wish to attend the school (suggested length: one to two pages).

- Two letters of recommendation from scholars who know your work. The letters should be sent independently of your application. Please inform your recommenders that an email from "myreviewroom.com" will be sent to them with their password and instructions for uploading their letter of reference into your application file. IT IS THE APPLICANT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THAT THE LETTERS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED BY THE DEADLINE.

To Apply

Online application site will open in October 2017. The deadline for letters of recommendation is not yet know, but are usually due by the end of January 2018. No late applications will be accepted. Applicants should be notified by e-mail regarding the status of their applications in early March, 2018.